August 2014—: The Desai Chairship
On August 1, 2014, Tejal Desai, PhD, became the sixth chair of the department. She inherited a group of 27 outstanding full-time primary faculty members, representing five scientific disciplines: drug development and regulatory sciences, pharmacogenomics, therapeutic bioengineering, computational biology, and systems pharmacology; another 20 secondary and joint appointments of individuals holding primary appointments in other UCSF departments and units; and 32 affiliated faculty members who serve the department without salary and are primarily in the adjunct or emeritus series. In addition, the department leads two PhD programs at UCSF (Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics) and two NIH training grants. In a statement describing her vision for the department, Desai said:
This is a very vibrant department that is uniquely positioned to lead the explosion of discovery and translation in personalized medicine. Our talented and diverse faculty are risk-takers who comfortably straddle the intersection of pharmacy and medicine on one side and engineering and basic science on the other, continually decoding areas of possible therapeutic use, from the microbiome to systems biology, from cancer therapies to medical devices, encompassing diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, and many other diseases. As Chair, I will build upon the strengths of this department, intensifying the department’s educational focus and extending its research collaborations as I ensure that faculty and staff are supported and encouraged in continued excellence—the hallmark of this department.
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